Partnering With Your Child's Doctor

With Your

Partnering With Your Child's Doctor

It’s important to build a trusting relationship with your doctor. The more you can freely share with your doctor, the more they will understand your and your child’s needs.

Mother and baby talking to female physician

Choosing a Doctor

There are several factors to consider when you select a doctor and clinic: 

  • Insurance
    Different clinics accept different insurance types. Some clinics also see patients without insurance.
  • Location
    Because you will be seeing your child’s doctor frequently for check-ups and when your child is sick, it is best, if possible, to select a clinic that is not too far away from your home.
  • Hospital/clinic affiliation
    It is easier if your primary care doctor works in the same system, so they have easier access to your child’s medical records. This is especially important for children with chronic illnesses and special healthcare needs who need to see medical specialists. 
  • Your comfort with your doctor
    Do they listen to your concerns? Do they answer your questions? Make sure you feel like you can open up with your doctor.
  • Hospital/clinic policies
    Do patients usually get to see the same doctor for check-ups? Do they have a 24 hour emergency number? What hospital do they send families to in case of emergencies?

Tips for your search:

  • Most people start by asking family and friends for recommendations. Where do they take their children for medical care? Are they happy with their doctor?
  • Most hospital systems have referral numbers where you can call to find a doctor in your area who is affiliated with them and takes your insurance. Check nearby hospitals’ websites for these numbers.

Use our resource finder to see a list of locations and providers near you.

Mother on phone holding baby

Talking to Your Child’s Doctor

Don’t be afraid to bring up any questions you might have to your doctor. Remember, there are no dumb questions! You should also feel free to ask the doctor to repeat or clarify information as much as needed. Their job is to support you.

Questions you might bring up with your child’s doctor:

  • Are my child’s development and growth appropriate for their age?
  • What does healthy nutrition and exercise look like?
  • How much sleep does my child need?
  • How do I help my child be more ready for school? How can I help support my child’s academic achievement? 
  • How can I help my child with mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, or behavioral problems?
  • What vaccine(s) does my child need during this visit? What do they protect against?
  • Is everything up to date, and may I get a record of my child’s shots?
  • How can I best keep my kids safe from infections?
  • Anything else that is on your mind!

icon - Ask YourselfASK AWAY

Remember, your doctor wants to hear your questions. Whenever you think of a question, write it down and bring it to your next visit.


Additional Reading

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Find a Physician

Use our resource finder to find a pediatrician or family doctor in your neighborhood.

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Vaccines are safe and effective at destroying viruses and bacteria that cause sickness in children.

READ MORE   external link icon

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Children’s Oral Health

Learn about common oral health issues in children—and what you can do about them.

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